• Careers: Building Your Child's Future Together
    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Section: For Parents

    When planning a career with your child, consider the following:
    • Work situations and skills needed for employment are constantly changing.
    • Almost half of the working population expects to change jobs in the next three years.
    •  Retraining and upgrading skills will be a requirement for maintaining employment.
    • Two-thirds of the jobs created today will require education beyond high school.
    • The worker of tomorrow must be able to work as a team member, communicate, solve problems, use technologies, adapt to change and be drug-free.
    • Career development is a lifelong process.
    Pre-kindergarten to Third Grade

    Development Traits
    Needs and seeks attention and praise
    Has boundless energy
    Considers fantasy as reality
    Shows a variety of tension-releasing behaviors

    Career Needs
    Distinguish between work and play.
    Identify different types of work
    Experience different types of work activities.
    Describe how decisions are made.
    Demonstrate a positive attitude.
    Identify personal feelings.

    Parent Involvement
    Listen and encourage.
    Encourage involvement in a variety of sports/hobbies.
    Positively reinforce child for completing chores.
    Praise efforts toward work as well as accomplishments.
    Show an interest and stress importance of school.
    Give toys that promote role playing.
    Make decisions with, not for, your child.

    Fourth Grade to Sixth Grade

    Development Traits
    Is more independent
    Feels that belonging to a group and friend are important
    Can assume more responsibility
    Has a surprising scope of interests
    Can think on own but is influenced by others

    Career Needs
    Identify personal interests, abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
    Describe how work at home and/or school relates to jobs in the community.
    Describe how work is important and attainable to all people.
    Describe how personal beliefs and values affect decision making.

    Parent Involvement
    Encourage good work habits at home. Gradually add responsibilities. Effort/experience are more important than quality.
    Don't assign jobs at home based on sex to avoid stereotyping. Show various workers in your community.
    Participate in the school's career education program.
    Listen as your child makes decisions. Keep peer pressure in mind.

    Seventh Grade to Eighth Grade

    Development Traits
    Is undergoing dramatic physical changes
    Is sensitive and has need for approval
    Tries to build a unique identity apart from parents' influence
    Wants more independence
    Is curious but not ready for planning
    Expresses feelings more openly

    Career Needs
    Demonstrate effective skills in working with others.
    Show an appreciation for the similarities and differences among people.
    Describe individual skills and aptitudes required to fulfill roles.
    Identify strategies for managing personal finances.
    Describe skills needed in a variety of occupations.
    Demonstrate skills needed to obtain and keep a job.

    Parent Involvement
    Discuss your child's skills, interests, abilities and goals to help plan for the future.
    Encourage participation in service-oriented activities in the community.
    Help children meet a variety of workers by arranging job observations, field trips or personal interviews.
    Use guided money management and allow your child to make economic choices.
    Allow children to work part-time outside the home.

    High School

    Development Traits
    Develops a sense of self-identity
    Begins a more prominent and realistic work/career search
    Develops a concern with social issues
    Matures sexually with physical and emotional changes
    Increases independence

    Career Needs
    Understand how individual personality, abilities and interests relate to career goals.
    Understand how education relates to college majors, further training and/or entry into the job market.
    Demonstrate transferable skills that can apply to a variety of occupations and changing work requirements.
    Be able to use a wide variety of career information resources.
    Show responsible decision making.

    Parent Involvement
    Help your child make independent decisions.
    Encourage exploration of all kinds of post-secondary education opportunities.
    Involve yourself in your child's future planning.
    Give certain economic responsibilities.
    Encourage job awareness.
    Be flexible as the decision-making process evolves. It takes patience and numerous modifications.